A Chat with B.A.S.S. Pro Caleb Kuphall
By Ron Niswonger, U.S. Anglers Choice contributor


We have all heard of or read about famous rock and roll bands that seem to be overnight sensations. They burst onto the scene with the latest hit tune, and they are all the rage. Some become one hit wonders while others go on to enjoy a long successful career in the spot light. What most people don’t realize is the countless hours and sometimes years of practice that the band puts in to finally achieve some recognition.  Most of the time they are practicing in a cramped space such as a garage or basement until that magic moment when they are “discovered” and become “overnight” mega stars.

Photo Credit: Bassmaster

Sometimes anglers go through a similar process. Take for example Caleb Kuphall the 35 year old Mukwonago Wisconsin angler who recently won the 2019 Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on Lewis Smith Lake. Caleb purportedly wasn’t even on anybody’s radar to be a serious contender in this event. Somebody forgot to let Caleb know that. He walked away with a three day total weight of 43 pounds and 2 ounces. It earned him $37,200 plus a berth in the 2020 Bassmaster Classic. Caleb put together a one two punch in two separate areas of Lewis Smith Lake, where he was able to capitalize on schooling spotted bass in one area, and then upgrade with largemouth by flipping buck brush with a jig in another area.

Caleb seemed to come from nowhere to win this event, but if we take a closer look at the “practice” years, Caleb has proven himself, a force to be reckoned with. The FLW angler has logged one win and twelve top ten finishes. He also has qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup twice as a co-angler.

Caleb also has fished Angler's Choice out of the Southeast Wisconsin division since 2010. Now comes the impressive part, out of 54 events fished he won 20 of them and finished in the top ten 42 times! He also was points champion in that division three years in a row! I know you are probably thinking that the Southeast Wisconsin division probably only has a handful of anglers making it easy for Caleb to be a big fish in a small pond, but it happens to be one of the largest of the U.S. Angler's Choice divisions. If you don’t believe Southeast Wisconsin guys know how to catch them, search the Angler's Choice website for names like Dan Hight, Rick Fry and Travis Alcock and of course Caleb Kuphall to name just a few, and prepare to be humbled. (I apologize to the guys whom I failed to mention.)

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Caleb on the phone and he was gracious enough to field a few questions.

AC: First of all can we get some general information about Caleb Kuphall?
CK: Sure I’m thirty-five years old from Mukwonago Wis. I’m not married and I work part time as a fishing guide and part time in a local tackle shop.

AC: Congratulations on your recent win on Lewis Smith Lake.
CK: Thank you. I appreciate that.

AC: What was your strategy for fishing Lewis Smith Lake? Especially since you only fished the lake once before in a 2008 FLW event as a co-angler.
CK: I found an area with spotted bass that I could get a limit on, but I really wanted to fish for Largemouth, and cull the spots. So I looked for dirtier water to find the largemouth. I did most of my damage on northeast side of the lake.

AC: Going in to this event, against some of the best spotted bass fishermen out there, did you think you were on the winning pattern?
CK: Not really because I was only able to cull a couple of the spotted bass with bigger largemouth the first two days. The last day I did cull them all and had the bigger bag.  Most of my fish were post spawn, but there were a few fish still coming in to spawn too so I always had more fish coming to me.

AC: Early August Bassmaster Central Opens comes to your home waters at La Crosse, Wis. to fish the upper Mississippi River. Will you put extra pressure on yourself to do well on your home waters?
CK:  I always give 110% in every tourney. I will continue to do that in the August event.

AC: What do you do better than everybody else? What is your edge?
CK: I would have to say experience. I’ve been doing this since I was five years old. It just comes down to putting time in on the water. Also, I think it’s probably trusting my gut. I have pretty good instinct and usually make good decisions on the water.

AC: How did fishing Angler's Choice help you develop your skills?
CK: Again fishing Angler's Choice meant putting time in on the water which equates to experience.

AC: Any sponsors you would like to mention?
CK: Piscifun

Caleb was the consummate professional on the phone.  I have a feeling that it won’t be too long before he wins the next “big tournament.” He may have won the Lewis Smith tournament but I can assure you Caleb Kuphall will not be a one hit wonder. One of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve ever done. Thank you Caleb!

Good Fishing and God Bless.